View Full Version : Epidural?!...Need Advice
03-13-2008, 12:01 PM
I was so adament about having an epidural when I decided to have kids but now I am not so sure I want one. I went to my labor and delivery classes...so glad I did and it gave me so much info that I never knew. My question is for those who had an epidural...how was it? how did you feel after? how was your baby? and do you regret it or would you do it again?
I am asking becuase at my classes that I took, they gave you so many different options of how to comfort yourself while in labor...that I think I might want to try some of those options. I just don't want to be drugged up sitting in bed for hours and hours. Any one just get a "narcotics" shot to keep the edge off and still be able to stay mobile until the "actual" labor part? If this is confusing I am really sorry. I just want different opinions. I know ultimately it is my choice, but for some reason I am a little more open minded about my delivery options now that I took my classes. However....pain is not my favorite thing to deal with so that is why I was thinking of at least having something to take the edge off. Oh ya..do they really use a catheter for your bladder? That part does not sound fun.
03-13-2008, 02:37 PM
I have 2 children..My first I used the narcotics through the IV to take the edge off..And it worked for me but wasn't enough, do to how my son was stuck under the pelvic bone it was going to take a while for him to turn. So I took the epidural it was fine I had no problems and my son was fine also. Everything was great I would not change anything about having the epidural.. For my second child I only had the narcotics in the IV to take the edge off and everything was fine there too. The thing is that it is your choice and you know that. But don't go in saying no or yes just tell your doctors that it will all depend on how the labor is going. There will be a time during the labor process that they are going to tell you "IF you want the epidural then now is the time." That is when you are going to have to asses how you are handling labor and make the decision then. All I can say is stay open minded about it. It sounds like you are and that is great. Good luck with your little one.
03-13-2008, 03:03 PM
I had twins 18 months ago and I had an epidural. I loved mine and the babies were fine afterwards. I would definitely get an epidural if I have another baby. Unfortunately, they decided to take me down to the operating room since I was doing a vaginal delivery with twins just in case the 2nd baby turned and they had to do a c-section quickly. So they had to unplug the epidural to transport me and by the time I reached the operating room, it was time to push and the epidural had mostly worn off so I ended up feeling everything. My labor went much faster though after they put in the epidural because it made my body relax some which speeds up the labor process. Some women that I know have mentioned that their back has some tenderness at the injection site for a little while after delivery but I didn't have any tenderness at all from it.
03-13-2008, 03:09 PM
My friend had an epidural with both of her kids and just loved it. I only had stadol (a narcotic) through an iv w/ both of my kids, and I got along fine. Now, when I say fine, I mean that I was okay, and my boys were okay, the delivery was very normal. But I'm not going to lie to you. Even with the drugs in your iv it still hurts. Now, obviously, I was okay with that pain, or I would have done something more with my second. My friend, she knew she didn't want to tolerate that pain, so she made the decision to have an epidural. I'm pregnant with my third, due in August, and more than likely will do the same as I have in the past. Because even though it is an awful pain, it is also a wonderful pain that you forget as soon as your baby slips out of you and you hear him/her cry. But, like orkaj said, it is your body and your decision. Don't think that you have to endure pain you don't want as some right of passage. That's the wonderful thing about all the choices, it makes your labor and delivery unique to you.
03-13-2008, 03:45 PM
Thanks for all of the great advise. I will definetley keep my options open because I know things change and so will I. There are a few things that I am very certain about..but this one I am just going to see how things go. :)
03-13-2008, 03:59 PM
I have three children and have had three epidurals, so I just wanted to share some of my experiences. With my first, I was determined to go drug free and I took all the classes and everything. Then, a few hours into labor, I was exhausted and crying and I just couldn't keep going. I do not feel that it slowed down labor at all for me, and I was not bothered by the after effects except in one small instance. After my second son was born, I was very shaky but it was only because I was cold but my body couldn't tell me that since most of it was numb! They covered me in a blanket and all was well. Although I couldn't feel contractions after they put in the epi, I did feel a very uncomfortable pressure when it was time to push. So I didn't feel completely out of the picture. One out of the three left me absolutely unable to move my legs on my own during labor, but it still didn't take any longer to wear off afterward. My babies were all fine and nursed well soon after they were born.
03-13-2008, 04:46 PM
I have always known I would do an epidural - I hate pain and I don't perform well when I am in pain. :) So, I made sure absolutely everyone knew I wanted my epidural when we finally checked in to give birth. As soon as it was in place, I knew I made the right choice. I was able to relax and enjoy the experience! I could still tell when the contractions were going, but only from strong pressure, no pain.
Then, there were some pretty bad complications that almost put me in the OR for a C-Section. Thankfully, that didn't come to pass BUT the epidural wore off due to high blood loss right around 9 centimeters dialated and my wonderful doctor informed me that they would not re-do it due to the complications. Not only could I not get the epidural again, they couldn't give me so much as an aspirin. Nothing! So, I got to experience child birth all natural.
I'm sorry ladies, you can tell me how wrong I am but I remember the pain vividly and it did NOT diminish as soon as I held my beautiful baby! I still have nightmares about that pain! The only thing I can liken it to was kidney stones, and I received great pain medication during those at least!
The pain from giving birth really distracted me from the overall experience. It was so excruciating - episiotomy (sp?) and all - that I have no idea how long I was actually in full labor, I can't remember if she cried right away, I can't remember what was going on around me. The pain overshadowed it all.
I for one will demand the epidural the next time around as well, and I will pray none of the same complications come up so MAYBE I can remember giving birth. :)
03-14-2008, 12:08 PM
I'm a person who can't take pain...and somehow I was able to bear the pain straight through the labor.
It all depends on you..how much pain you are in and how much pain you are able to bear. Your labor story may be very different to what you've written it out to be. Things may go smoother than you think.
But the epidural is up to you. People can give you all sorts of opinions. Don't feel guilty about taking it if you decide to or if you don't. Just be happy either way.
03-14-2008, 12:17 PM
Ra11en, it was the same with me that the pain didn't go away immediately. Of course, I didn't get the experience of holding either of my babies after delivery because they were so small, they had to be rushed to the NICU section of the nursery and put on oxygen. It was the next morning before I was able to hold them and then it could only be for a couple minutes with wires everywhere. I remember the pain vividly but it was worth every minute and I would do it again in a heartbeat. So yes it hurts but the rewards will be worth it!
03-14-2008, 04:16 PM
With my 1st child I had an epidural and everything went fine. They did have to tell me when to push because I couldn't feel anything but I'm not upset because I was in labor for 17 hrs. Now with my 2nd daughter they had to stick me twice...I was numb on my right side but felt EVERYTHING on my left and let me tell you, I was coming off the bed because I couldn't take the pain especially when it was time to push. After each delivery and I was and my babies did not have any problems from the epidural. I'm due to have my third in Sept and even though I had a slight problem with the second child I will not hesitate to ask for the epidural.
03-14-2008, 09:52 PM
I went to birthing classes too. I really wanted to do hypno-birthing. I tried it as best I could. I was in so much pain there was no way I could relax. I was so happy to get the epidural. It was great because I could still feel my baby and when to push. I was fine afterward too. I'd actually forgotten that I'd had the epidural. It's a good idea to be open to lots of options, you'll have plenty of time to try them all.
03-15-2008, 03:02 AM
After my birthing classes and the info on epidurals I decided there was no way anybody was sticking a needle that size in my back nor that would I want to be numb from the waist down. Aslo, my mother told me that labor isnt that bad and that I could handle it if she could.
I went in with back labor and the nurse had me changing positions every half hour and I was fine. Once the contractions started coming closer together I chose to have the narcotic through the IV to take the edge off and it worked fine. I can honestly say the worst part/pain was the contractions right before I was allowed to push. Once the doctor let me start pushing the pain was nothing if you could call it pain. Even with the difficult birth my son had; whenever I pushed his heart would stop so the doctor had to use the vacuum to help pull him out faster. and the Stitching up afterwards was not bad either. I can honestly say the only pain I remember was the last contraction before I was allowed to push. After that the adrenalin took over and I felt nothing, my husband was even surprised after it was all done and the nurse offered me some heavy pain medication and I said no I'm fine.
I plan to do it the exact same way for my next child.
And I have a friend who had natural birth with her first little girl (2 years ago) and said it hurt so much that when her second little girl was on the way 2 years later she asked for the epidural the second she stepped into the hospital.
I think it depends on you pain threshold and how you are able to deal with it.
03-15-2008, 03:10 PM
I had an epidural and was very happy that I did. My husband and I had a great time during the delivery, I was comfortable and able to laugh at some of the silly things. I did end up with the worst headache for two weeks after and I threw up twice a couple hours after my daughter was born. Evan after all that, I was sooooo soooo happy that I had the epidural...Baby is great!
03-18-2008, 04:59 PM
I had an epidural, mostly because I had to have an emergancy c-section. Yes, you get a cathider (excuse the wrong spelling) put in but you really don't feel it. It's just kind of strange to be peeing and not even know it.. The most uncomfortable feeling for me was the leg massagers they put on your calves to keep blood circulating in your legs since you can't walk for 24hrs. At first you don't feel it, and then it feels nice but after awhile your legs get really sweaty and itchy. They're made out of wool or something and it's so annoying. Not looking forward to that again lol. But nothing spells relief like e-p-i-d-u-r-a-l lol
03-18-2008, 05:27 PM
I said yes to the epidural...here's my experience..I was at 5cm when the epidural dude showed up and he kindly waited until one of my contractions was over before numbing my back and giving me the good stuff b/c having to lean forward over your belly while contracting is not fun. Okay so first they had to run a bag of IV fuilds though me and than they were allowed to give me the epidural, which I think is common; so I was cold and contracting. Anyway, I FELT GREAT after the epidural kicked in. I was chatting it up with the Nurse and I'm a shy person, it's like a happy cocktail! It did slow my contractions down, but there was no way I was going to sit though those contractions any longer! And my legs were numb and really heavy, I needed help to pick my butt up so the Nurse could slide a bed pan under me (your supposed to pee while your laboring every so often) while I couldn't tell if I was going or not, so the Nurse had to keep using a decath to pee for me. And when it came time to push it took me 2 hours b/c I couldn't feel where I was pushing so they slowed my epidural drip and was able to push him out. No headackes but a little bit of backack two weeks later. Those minor problems were nothing compared to the contractions I didn't have to feel. If you do decide to have the epidural wait as long as you can before getting it. Good Luck!
03-18-2008, 06:25 PM
In my area we are required to take Anesthia options class and 10 years ago for my first pregnancy I was scared and grossed out when I realized they left a small tube in your back instead of the shot in the spine like I thought. I was so hoping I would not be offered it in the hospital however when I went into labor - I could have careless less what they gave me - I wanted it and everything! I couldnt wait to get it! It was like the doors of Heaven opened when my Anesthesiologist
walked in! I had to sit on edge of bed and sit very still holding for dear life to my woderful nurse (my support persons were not there yet). I was in the middel of a contraction when he was doing his business so I tried to stay very still - to me that was the hardest part. I really don't recall feeling the needle or anything the doctor was doing because the contraction was worse pain!! I am terrified now for my second, due in 5 weeks, that I might miss my window of opportunity to get it. I SO WANT THE EPIDURAL!!! I can't do it alone! Most of my friends said that it definitely helped them! I felt no pain not even the pressure - nothing! Most of my friends say they felt some pressure or pain but nothing like it was before the med's. They threatened to turn the med's down if I didn't push with the contractions. I didnt feel anything at all! I was lucid and not groggy at all - I had been given Nubain before and I did doze off during each contraction - but still felt all the pain yet felt rested once the epidural was administered. I was grateful for the epidural or else i feel as if I would have been too out of it from pain to notice what was going on. I knew everything around me. My nurse even complimented me on my change in behavior and attitude after my Anesthesiologist
left the room - it took effect immediately! My daughter was perfect and not at all "drugged" out at all like some say. IT IS THE BEST THING IN THE WORLD. Now my cousin did have side effects (nothing major - just migraines for 2 weeks) but majoirty vote says it is the best thing since electricity and running water!
03-19-2008, 11:50 PM
I had an eidural with my 1st baby and was in labor for 10 hrs. With my 2nd baby I arrived to the hospital at 9.5cm and the DR told me I was too late for the epidural. I yelled like a mad woman that day. I was too exhausted and in pain to carry the 10 1/2 lb baby girl( yeah I know OUCH).
I am now 6 mo pregnant with my 3rd and I am defenitly getting the epidural and will rush to the hospital as soon as I get any sign of labor. I can honestly say that with the an epidural, labor is a lot longer but you are in a better mood, and more likely to enjoy the birth. Again, it's your decision and only you know how much pain you will be able to handle. What matters is that you make the best choice in order to be able to be mentally, emotionally, and physically strong to give life. Best of luck:)
03-20-2008, 02:16 PM
My epidural was wonderful. I wouldnt recommend childbirth without it. My fear was of the needle in the back, but i didnt even feel it, and i couldnt feel it the whole time it was taped on my back. My delivery went well, i pushed for a about five minutes each time. I didnt feel a thing, but i was able to push very effectively. That was a concern ive heard about. My babies were both fine and very healthy, so the drugs didnt effect them badly. The spot where the tube went it will be tender after but compared to everything else that is sore, its no big deal
03-20-2008, 02:36 PM
i felt the same way as you with so many options. i ultimately decided to go natural but at the end i got the shot of stadol. it didnt help the pain at all and i fell asleep in between contractions which were only 1 min 30 sec apart. i would definitely not recommend getting the shots, my baby came out fine but sometimes they can be pretty lethargic at first. hope this helps. good luck
03-22-2008, 03:46 PM
I had an epidural with my daughter. She was perfectly fine, no side effects from it. The only problem I had with it is long term. :/ I have back problems now as a direct result of the epidural. Which I found out is one of the side effects. You might want to look into that. I honestly would take the epidural again even knowing I would live with back pain for the rest of my life
03-23-2008, 05:03 PM
I knew that I didn't want an epidural from the beginning but I did get a quarter of a dose of nubain (I could still feel everything but I couldn't open my eyes, it was terrible) luckily I was only in labor 4.5 hours and the nubain wore off about 45 minutes after they gave it to me. I truly believe that for me the reason my labor went so quickly was because I could listen to my body. When it came time to push it only took 10 minutes and he was even born sunny side up (which definitely explained why my back was hurting so bad). My advice is to listen to your body, it will tell you what you need.
03-23-2008, 11:14 PM
I was never good with pain and never doubted that I would have an epidural when I would go into labor. However, I did go to a childbirth class to see what the other options were and it was appealing. I thought I was going to use my breathing and the labor ball and the labor bar (that goes across your bed) but when the moment came, none of those things happened. My water broke (when the class said only a small percentage actually has their water break), I never went into contractions after that so they had to induce me with Pitocin, and I was in labor for almost 30 hours. If it weren't for the epidural, I don't know how I would have made it through. I got the epidural when I was only 4 cm dilated (I was progressing very slowly). But when all was said and done, I could feel the contractions enough to push, I have a very healthy baby with no side affects, and I had no side affects from all the drugs.
BTW, they do a catheter but you don't even feel it. I was also worried about the pain of the needle of the epidural or whether I could keep still enough, but everything was fine. I would definitely get another one next time around.
03-24-2008, 06:48 PM
with my first, I had demarol, then pitosin, then a local for the episiotomy... it hurt but wasen't too bad. With my second I did the all natural thing, and I would never recomend it to any one or wish it on my worst enemy. It was a horrifying pain that I will never forget! (but i never had birthing classes.) I am pregnant with my third now and and I am sooooo scared of going that way again.
03-27-2008, 12:52 AM
My labour was extremely long, and slow in progressing, so I had many hours of pain before I was able to get my epidural. I took morphine, but it only helped a little and made my muscles twitch for hours. Once I finally had the epidural, it was heaven, and I slept for 2 hours and woke up ready to push. Noah was born healthy and very responsive (apgar 9).
My sister, however, went into labour expecting an epidural and looked forward to it. When she got it, it temporarily paralyzed her legs and she felt all the pain. She got another one, and it did the same. Could have been the anesthesiologist's fault, or she might not take the medication well.
Our stories are opposite: my epidural was a lifesaver; hers was a nightmare. Sorry, that doesn't really help, does it??!! Good luck, and do what you feel comfortable with.
03-27-2008, 02:58 PM
I had 3 kids and had an epidural all 3 times. Would do it again. They are awesome!
03-27-2008, 11:57 PM
i got the epidural... i had horrible back labor and it gave me time to just relax and wait for myself to fully dialate. but later on they had also given me pitocin and i could feel the contractions right through the epidural, i wouldve been in alot more pain if i didnt get it. plus my daughter was to big and pushing her out made me tear all over the place, but i couldn feel any of that pain because of the epidural. next time i have a baby im def. getting the epidural again.
03-30-2008, 11:49 AM
When I was in labor with my 1st kid I decided to have the epidural. It took about five tries before the doctor was able to get it in. And then once I went home two days later a had a horrible headache for about three day if I went outside. So with my second one due in July im going to go for the drug that takes the edge off. Hopefully that one will work out just fine
03-30-2008, 11:53 PM
I was certain that I did not want an epidural when giving birth to my twins. I was much more scared of the shot than giving birth. There are risks and I didn't want to "miss" the birth experience. HOWEVER, between contractions I grilled the doctors (yes, I grilled two), and after roughly 15 hours of labor I decided to have one. They inserted a very thin flexible needle into the lower back and I was the one who controlled the amount of the medicine that was released. I was able to relax and gather my strength for the hard labor, when the medication would stop. I was very aware of the entire birth experience. The epidural that I had did not stop the awe inspiring pain of bringing new lives into this world. It did not make me feel like I missed something at all. Thanks to the brief respite, I was even able to hold and attempt to breast feed both my twins after the 24 hour ordeal and 3+ hours of hard labor. I would have that type of epi again, but maybe a bit sooner. Just remember, no matter how you give birth, it is an amazing experience that is only JUST beginning. My best to you.
03-31-2008, 02:46 PM
I had a walking epidural with my son and a full with my daughter as she was a c-section. I was able to walk almost immediately after having my son, with some help from the nurse for balance and exhaustion! I had a "window" (a small 2 inch x 2 inch square) on my abdomen that I actually felt the contractions and pain. I never had the entire feeling go away...I always felt the pressure, it just didn't hurt as much as I believe it would have.
The only time I had a cath. was with my daughter's delivery...with my son I didn't have anything- Truthfully I think that my flu shot hurts worse than the epidural... the dr actually liked my description of what it felt like... it feels like when you hit your funny bone, just in your back... it doesn't hurt, just feels weird.
Neither of my kids had any funny effects from the epidural... if anything it helped progress my labor because I was able to relax once I had it.
My suggestion would be to try to go as long as you can without one, but do not hesitate to get one when you are uncomfortable. There is no right or wrong answer...
04-01-2008, 12:22 AM
I Had One With My First Child And I Love It I Didnt Fell Anythin And My Baby Was Just Fine And So Was I. And The 11 Months Later I Had My Second Child And I Didnt Get To Get One Becuse I Was Already To Far God I Need One So Bad But They Didnt Give It To Me But It Was Ok I Guess It Actually Felt Kind Of The Same I Dont Regret Havin It Done With My First One Either But I Would Suggust That Have It With Ur First And Then I Dont Think U Need It With Your Other Kids If U Have Are Plannin On Have In More.one More Thing That Can Help Is Walk I Know U Probley Hear It All The Time But It Does Help
04-01-2008, 09:45 AM
I never had an epidural. i am scared to death of needles. i wont say that i didnt want one! with my first, they brought in the doctor, i saw the needle and said yeah right! never mind i will deal with the pain, with my second labor was a cake walk and i didnt even think about it. i just hope with this one i can say that labor was easy peazy and i dont need anything at all! and that nubane shot burns!!! i had that with my first and my arm felt like it was on fire!
04-04-2008, 10:11 AM
I have had all 3 of my babies at home so an epideral was never an option, but I did take a course called hypno-birthing. It was wonderful! It teaches you how to relax and breath your baby down and out, without any pain. When your body is afraid of something it release a chemical that makes you feel pain, so if you relax and think positive, you don't feel any pian. With my first baby I didn't practice much and had someone at my birth that made me very uncomfotable so I didn't give birth the way I had planned to. I had 12 hours of hard labor two of which were spent pushing. He was born healthy and I am grateful for the experience but I was so determined after that to use this hypno-birthing method because I didn't want to be afraid to give birth every time, I wanted to enjoy it safely. 13 months later I was planning a water birth but we didn't get any water in the pool because my labor was only 2 hours long with two very small pushes and I was giggling between pushes when my first daughter who was almost the same size as my son was born. It was perfect! I truely enjoyed her birth and with it completely natural felt NO PAIN! My last baby was born in 3 1/2 hours with this same wonderful result.
During my last pregnancy I was at the hospital with my sis when her baby was born and she had an epidural. the differnce was night and day. I was so in control of my body, I could laugh and walk around during labor, but she was stuck in bed and couldn't move her legs or tell us when she was having a contraction, she was kid of frustrated by the time baby finally came.
good luck with the birth of you baby
04-05-2008, 09:47 AM
I'm not really surprised at how many moms here opted for an epidural. Here's a comment from a mom that didn't get one.
When I first learned I was pregnant I started reading a lot of books. After getting some good impressions on pregnancy, labor and such I decided that an epidural was not for me. One of the most informative books on natural birthing I read was called Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way, by Susan McCutcheon. It talks about the Bradley method of birthing, but more importantly, it fully describes what your body and mind will be going through during labor. If you are a meditative, centered, and focused woman, you can make it through labor without an epidural! However, sometimes there is a need for pain reduction so you can focus on birthing your child. If you buckle under the most minute injury then you may not make it through labor without assistance. There is no absolute. I went into the delivery room, the nurses supported my decision, even when the doctor tried to convince my husband and me otherwise. My labor went so quickly for a first pregnancy there wouldn't have been time to implement an epidural anyways. Sometimes though, labor can last too long and wear a woman out. I do believe that epidurals and petocin can slow labor down, the more you add the more complicated things get. So think about it, don't just fall into the trap of getting drugged up, when there is a great possibility you don't need any of it. My sister gave birth to 2 children without an epidural. A friend gave birth to 3 children without an epidural. I gave birth to my son without an epidural and plan not to have one when my second child comes this November. It can be done!
04-05-2008, 09:26 PM
I was adimant that I wouldn't get an epidural for my son. I did all of the breathing classes and researched different ways to relax and handle the pain. And I didn't have any meds the whole time (I started having serious contractions on a Monday and didn't have my son until that Friday) until the last 5 or 6 hours. I pushed for 2 1/2 hours before they gave me meds(I also got a spinal and a narcotic because my doctor wanted me to get some sleep) But once I started pushing again it still hurt because I had back labor (he was postioned totally wrong) My personal opinion is give it a try without. You can always get it later if it's too much. I'm not planning on an epidural for future children because it was only the complications of my cervix not wanting to dilate and him being postioned wrong that caused the pain. Before the labor I thought that them putting a needle in my back would freak me out too much but the pain of labor totally outweighed it. I did get really loopy feeling but that was the narcotic. I actually proposed to the anastesiologist after he gave me the drugs( he just laughed). Afterwards I didn't really feel any different because by then the narcotic was gone and I liked the epidural because it kind of delayed the sore feeling down below for a day so I could focus on myu son more than my pain (that came later). I hope this helps!
04-07-2008, 01:50 PM
I wanted to see how labor was going before deciding for sure on an epidural or not. My doctor and the nurses in delivery kept asking me if I planned to get one or not and I just kept telling them, "I'll let you know if I decide to." My labor was 25 hours and complicated with an illness that caused fetal distress and wiped me out. I was on an IV and contractions were unbelievable. I still don't know how I waited as long as I did before finally requesting an epidural a few hours before birth. To do it again, I would have had the epidural sooner and saved my strength. I tried all the methods, breathing, rocking on the ball, walking, meditating, etc. Nothing helped even a smidge. Once I got the epidural I slept for an hour and my labor sped up rapidly with full dilation. So no, epidurals do not slow labor across the board, as many who haven't even had them believe. I felt a lot also, and could tell when to push and felt the whole delivery, could move my legs, received my sons head into my hands as it was birthed, took him directly out as his body was birthed and right onto my chest. It was amazing and I had the entire experience that I would have had without the epidural, just with more focus and clarity because I was no longer in tunnel-vision with overwhelming pain and exhaustion. My son was very active and alert upon birth and neither of us had any negative effects from the epidural. I'm due with second in November and will likely ask for an epidural sooner into labor. The catheter you don't even notice because of the pain you are in from labor, and they'll put it in after the epidural so you're starting to numb anyway.
Enjoy the birth of your baby, whatever you decide to do! And don't feel pressure from others to either have an epidural or not to have one. You know what is right for you.
04-08-2008, 05:11 PM
I had an epidural when I had my son and I'm planning on having another one when I have another baby. It was a bit tricky getting the needle in cause I was a bit jumpy every time it came near me, but they finally had me change positions (first I was sitting up leaning over the side of the bed holding on to the nurse, then they made me lay down on my side and curl up) and that was soo much better, they got the needle right in and it immediately started working, I didn't feel any pain at all. I couldn't even tell when I was having contractions, the nurse had to tell me when to push. The drugs made me a bit sleepy but that was alright, I had a 13 hour labor so sleeping helped pass the time till I was fully dilated. So I would definitely recommend the epidural, it made the labor much much easier and painfree.
04-09-2008, 10:42 AM
I went in to deliver thinking I'd go as long as I could without having one. That lasted about 6 of the 17 hours of labor. The SECOND epidural wore off while I was pushing, so I really had no epidural for the last 2 hours.
While I did go into that "fog" while pushing, I would have liked to have been more cohearant when my son first appeared. My legs were numb, but it didn't do a bit of good for the contractions.
I attended the last two of my sister's 3 births where she had a functioning epidural and she was so calm for pushing and able to focus on the baby... I was a bit envious.
If you try to hold off for as long as you can, you might just pass the point where you can have one done. You'll know if you need one. No shame in it at all.
04-09-2008, 10:45 AM
As for the narcotics, that shot only lasted an hour. A nice, restful hour, but it wore off and POW! right back into full-on contractions.
And don't worry about the catheter. You won't even notice it.
04-10-2008, 09:48 PM
14 mths ago i had my 1st son and i got a spinal not epideral but i also had a c-section. i thought that it was heaven until it started wearing off (12hrs later)then the pain kicked in. i took tylneol 3 and darvacets (cant spell) little pink pain killers and my son (i exclusivly nursed for one year) turned out awsome no problem what so ever. i say get it
04-11-2008, 02:29 PM
I have 4 kids and have had 4 Epidurals. They were a lifesaver for me, as I am a wimp. I do not do well with pain, and probably would have been a very bad patient. However, with the epidural, I was sitting in bed, relaxed, talking with my hubby. There was no pain and I just felt a little pressure when it was time to push. I understand why some women want to "experience" the pain, but I am not one of those women.
04-18-2008, 04:14 PM
As a mother of two and a surrogate for one i can tell you for me i was fortunate not to have severe labor pain to ask for an epidural....but for my last delivery i was encouraged to take the epidural due to the fact they had to increase my induction with medicine called Pitocin, so i did. the baby came out fine and very alert weighing in at 8 lbs 14 ounces. As for me during the pushing part of labor i felt nothing and it was very frustrating to not have that control like i did with my other deliveries. You will find that now a days epidurals is highly sought after and encouraged by hospital nurses and doctors simply stating why feel the pain when it can be eased by medicine...You will have to make that desicion and remember the window is opened to that medicine for so long then its all down hill from there....
04-21-2008, 12:49 PM
I have 2 children and had an epidural with both of them. For me it was the best option and I'd never do it any other way. I have a very low pain threshold. I have seizures when I experience extreme amounts of pain. Before I had my first I thought that I would wait until the was unbearable so as to not delay my labor like I read in all the books and magazines. With both of my labors I got the epidural pretty quick after my water broke, that was all the pain I could bear. My labors progressed quickly afterwards as I was able to relax and let things happen. There is a catheter (sp?) but they do it after the epidural so you don't feel a thing. They do it because you can't control your bladder with the epidural. It's really no big deal. Don't fear the needle either (I have a HUGE fear of needles)...you never see it and for me the benefits definately out weigh the poke you get.
My advice would be to go into it with an open mind. Listen to your body. If you can't take it any more get the epidural. If you do decide to get an epidural, don't wait too long you may not get one. Since this is your first you don't know how fast your labor will progress. My little sister progressed so fast they didn't have time to give her one and she ended up going natural. I hope that doesn't scare you. LOL! Good luck!
04-22-2008, 07:06 AM
i was actually one of those mommy-to-bes that was pro-natural and, having a high tolerance for pain, very positive i would not have an epidural.
by the time i went to the hospital i had been in early labour for 24 hours without sleep (i was 2 weeks overdue and stayed awake due to excitement, not pain!) and definitely not realizing how painful post-water breaking contractions would be. i just couldn't relax. my hubby begged me to take something for pain but i refused. the nurse told me there was no need to be a martyr and pointed out that putting myself through pain wasn't benefiting anyone...and she was right. she won me over when she said the contractions would dissapear to the point where i would be able to sleep! and i did. i napped all through labour and had loads of energy for post-birth joy.
i am soooo pro-epi now. and don't understand what i was fussing about!
04-22-2008, 06:59 PM
My husband and I welcomed our first child on Dec. 26th. We went to the classes as well to get an idea of our options. I was induced around 9 am, got something (I'm not sure what it was) to "take the edge off". I did the whole breathing thing and it helped to an extent. But, my son was turned the wrong way, so the doctor had to turn him (I didn't have an epidural at this point)-not fun! I got an epidural around 7 cms. I could still feel the contractions, but they didn't hurt (if that makes sense). But, I could feel everything as I was pushing and felt him come out, so my epidural only partially worked. All of my friends with kids had epidurals and none of them had any problems. He arrived around 6:10 that evening.
As for my son, he did just fine. There were a couple of instances where I would have to change the side I was laying on because his heart rate would drop, but that can happen with any drugs, even pitocin (for labor induction). It all just depends on how your baby handles the labor process.
And don't think you're a wimp because you want some relief. God made doctors and pain relief for a reason :)
Hope this helps!
04-23-2008, 08:21 PM
I was in your shoes not to long ago. Do I have one or not. After the classes I was freaked out and defenetly did not want one. I also heard bad things from friends that had bad experiences like slowing of labor or babies heart rates slowing down. I also have a history of back problems and did not want something sticking me in the back. And ooh the thought of the cathader which everyone I know that's had an epidural has had one, no thank you.
Well I'm here to say that if you decide to do it fine, but I bet that if you decide not to you'll do fine. My first was 7.9 in 11 total hours of labor and my second was a wopping 10.1 in 10 total hours of labor .If I had not gone natural with my second I probably would have had a c-section since he was sideways and I had to move around to get him to turn. That's right, once you get the epidural you are bound to your bed which could be why it slows the labor down.
I know that you asked for opinions from those that had epidurals, but I wanted to give you some from the other side to. Oh and incase you are thinking that I must be from another generation or something I am now 28 with my youngest being 1 1/2 so I'm sure I'm close to your age and can relate a little. I don't know of very many that go the "all natural" way anymore. Either way remember that you'll be in the hands of specialist and they'll take care of you.
04-24-2008, 12:24 AM
I have had 3 children. The first 2, totally natural and everything went fine. 10 years later.....I have my son, who is 16 weeks old. I was induced and wanted to keep my options open. I went in with the hopes that I could handle it again but if I needed an epi, the option was there. I ended up getting one. Loved it....until it wore off right when I had to push. I did appreciate the break it gave me for 3 hours though. The kind I had was called an intrathekyl (sp?) It made me itch...but was worth it. HTH
04-24-2008, 12:33 PM
Me & My Fiancee Are Trying To Conceive Right Now, So I Haven't Been To Any Classes Yet, But I Totally Understand Your Debate About Having An Epidural Or Not. I Agree That I Am Going To Keep An Open Mind, But I Would Like To Go Natural If I Can Handle The Pain. I Have Heard Alot Of Horror Stories About Epiderals & The Side Effects & It Not Working, Itching,etc. Either Way The Advice From The Other Moms Who Have Experience Is So Awesome & Comforting (sometimes Scary!lol!) So I Just Wanted To Say Thanks!!!
04-25-2008, 04:32 AM
I was induced. I did not have an epidual. I can't say for sure if I will get an epidural next time (hopefully next time), but I will never, ever, ever! ever!!! get induced again. I know you have heard it depends on the personal experience-it so does. Would just like to let you know, in my personal experience, those that say it is not so bad-it is not worth taking the chance! I would gladly go back and be miserable for another week or so!!!! Had a friend who was induced before me, she apologized for telling me it was a good idea and not bad at all.
04-27-2008, 08:36 PM
I've had epidurals with both my girls and they're fine, healthy and happy. The last epidural I had was on 2/27/08 with my second DD's birth... It definitely took the pain away and I was more relaxed and rested for the pushing part. I would definitely recommend getting one if you cannot handle the pain, I mean, why do through pain if you know that the medicine is there to help you feel better and take the edge off for a couple of hours before the actual pushing starts. I asked my nurse at the time, since she had a delivery with and without an epidural and she said the pain was anything beyond belief. Hope this helps!!!
04-29-2008, 08:00 PM
My biggest concern was that baby would have trouble latching on to breastfeed. I had an epidural and my son latched on fine. My gyno and the general information out there assured me that it would be safe for baby and myself. Still, I understand concern because the research on the matter is kind of lacking.
My second concern with getting the epidural was the strange social pressure you have to go natural. It seems there is a perception that you are weak or less of a true woman if you get one. I soon decided to screw anyone who looked down on me :)
Other reasons that influenced my decision:
I knew there was a significant chance I could tear or need an episiotomy during birth.
I knew that if I had to have an emergency c-section they would most likely need to knock me out-but I got an epidural in advance I could be lucid for the surgery. This was very impt to me!
I also suffer from this strange tail bone pain and from the persistent and at times shooting pain I had months prior to giving birth that it would kill if I didn't get some help.
I was overdue and was going to be induced and the pitocin that they give you is said to produce more painful labor.
So I said before, I got one. I will do so again. I endured 2 hours of the terrible labor pains before I got the epidural and that was enough! If you are concerned with the health risks and other side effects (some get so numbed they can't push as well) ask for a LOW DOSE epidural. That way they can always up your dose if you need itÖitís much harder to reduce the effects though once administered. I did this and could still feel the sensation of pushing and knew when I needed to push. My baby was very alert that first day and still seems just fine. Good luck!
04-29-2008, 11:38 PM
With my first baby the nurse asked me if I wanted something for the pain. She gave me the option for a drug that will only last a couple of hours and a epidural. I was already six hours into labor and did not know much longer it was going to take. All I knew was I wanted the pain to stop and to get some rest. So I went with the epidural and good thing I did because little did I know I had another ten more hours to go. I think I made the right choice.
04-30-2008, 10:20 AM
I just had my son in November, and he was my first. I had an epidural and my son was fine, as far as the epidural was concerned. I had high blood pressure, so I was also on Magnesium Sulfate. That didn't harm my son either, but he had to be in NICU and wait for the magnesium to get out of his system. The only "problem" I had with my epidural is that they kept my on my left side for my blood pressure, so the medicine drained to my left side. My left side was useless - I couldn't even lift my own leg while I was pushing. My right side, though, was really not numb at all. I could feel all the contractions through my right side. I don't think I could've handled it without the epidural. But keep in mind, I'm a wimp! The epidural was great - and didn't hurt nearly as bad as I thought it was going to. But the magnesium also made me feel way drunk. That was the drug that I would prefer not to ever have again - but the epidural, I will definitely have with my future children!
05-01-2008, 01:55 PM
I have had 2 children, the 1st was 10 weeks early and it happened too quickly to get an epidural. Even though he was only 41/2 lbs, i decided i never needed to feel that pain again. My second delivery, i had an epidural and it was great. i felt no pain with contractions, i could actually relax and enjoy the experience. Getting the epidural was really not bad...just so me mild discomfort...much less than my back labor contractions. My legs felt heavy but not actually completely numb. When it was time to push, I could feel the pressure so had no problem knowing when i needed to push. The epidural wore off gradually, and I felt fine...baby was also completely fine. I did have to have a catheter, and believe me, when you have to go and can't, the catheter is a beautiful thing! It was no big deal. I hear everyone's experience with an epidural is different but I am so glad I had one...labor and delivery was actually somewhat enjoyable. i am due again with my third and plan to have an epidural again this time if able. Hope this is helpful information...good luck and whatever you decide, i"m sure it will be perfect for you.
05-06-2008, 07:37 PM
I had the epidural when I had my baby girl back in December. I'm a real wimp when it comes to pain so for me, it was great and my daughter was fine. She was very alert when she was born...even recognized my husband's voice! I'm definitely planning on using it again if there's a next time around...
And to answer your bladder queston. Yes, they do but I didn't get mine inserted until after I had my epidural. I couldn't feel a thing. In fact, my epidural didn't fully wear off until loong after my daughter was born. I'd say it was at least 3 hours before I got full feeling back.
05-07-2008, 03:11 PM
When i was in labor with my first child I tried the meds in the IV, however that did not last long what so ever and I ended up having the epidural even though during my whole pregnancy i told myself and my doctors that I absolutly wanted to try and have a natural birth.... boy was I wrong. However, I was able to lay back and relax for the short time that I did have (my whole labor experience only lasted 4 hours, from the time of the first contraction to the time my daughter was born) I think it all depends on how you feel when you are actually going through your labor contractions and how fast the labor proceeds that will make you decide whether or not you would like more meds, I don't think that its something that should be set in stone before you get into the delivery room.
05-07-2008, 07:29 PM
I have 2 kids and had an epidural both times and LOVED IT!!! They were both wide awake afterward. I had no side effects and felt great. I can't imagine labor without one. My husband and I were able to joke around and have fun leading up to pushing and I pushed my daughter out in 20 minutes and my son out in 10. I'm now due in December and plan on getting another epidural for that one.
05-11-2008, 12:14 AM
all i will say is that you wouldnt get a tooth drilled without getting a needle, dont have a baby without it either lol
05-11-2008, 12:17 AM
LOL Good analogy; I hadn't thought of it that way! Suppose Mommy2Be is having her baby yet?? :)
05-11-2008, 03:55 AM
for my first born, i had a shot that made me sleepy. it drove me nuts because i trying to sleep with those agonizing contractions waking me up every minute or so. it was frustrating. i was so very extremely tired. my second child was an emergency c-section; i had no options. but for my third, i took the epidural to relax my muscles because i was holding the baby up too high (at least that's what my dr said). compared to the pain of getting a small tattoo on the small of my back, the needle was LAUGHABLE. the worst part of it all was trying to sit up and bend forward. both my legs went to sleep and started convulsing instantly. that part was probably the worst of the whole experience. i may have bitten my nurse with all the uncontrollable thrashing and apologizing i was doing.
it was sore as hell the next few days. i can't feel it at all anymore though sometimes i'll reach for something wrong and my back will explode. not sure if that has anything to do with the epidural.
05-12-2008, 12:01 AM
I wanted to have my little man at a birth center and all natural. Long sotry short had an US in the AM and was being induced 3 hrs later at 36 wks. So I was trying to keep any control over my experience as possible. I am a nurse and assisted with deliveries and have induced patients, but I never new the hell that is induction! If anyone gets induced get the epidural!!!!!!!!!! I had a contraction for 10 min and thought I was goign to die. I recieved an epidural durig this process and didn't feel it at all! If put in this situation again I would do it. If you are in a ton of pain of anxiety you can impeed the labor process and the epidural can actually speed it up. My Dr was sure we were going for a c-section with the lack of progress, 1 cm in 20 hrs, pst epi 9 cm 2 hrs.
My advise in a nut shell go in with goals but remember they are just goals, you have the right to change you mind at any moment. If yo are great risk for a c-section due to a large baby or other issues that you know of ahead of time get the epidural that way you can be awake incase of a c-section
This is your delivery and it will be special no matter how the baby gets into the world!
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